Making your Customers your Marketing tool

When entrepreneurs think of marketing their businesses, most of them mainly focus on the common methods of marketing. 

But do you know your customers are the most influential marketing tool you have? Your customers should be part of your marketing tactics if they are not already. 

Your current customers should be your business ambassadors. Apart from retaining them as loyal customers, working with them can bring your new customers. 

Instead of investing too much money and marketing energy into acquiring new customers, invest it in people who already have a relationship with your business and make them your ambassadors. 

Potential customers trust referrals from people they know and most rely on consumer opinions and reviews before they buy a product or pay for a service. They are influenced more easily by actual people than paid influencers, or paid partnerships. 

Benefits of using customer advocacy as a marketing strategy for your business

1.Reduced Customer Acquisition Costs

Business gurus say that acquiring new customers is more costly than retaining customers. 

However, a good way to acquire new customers as you save your coins is using customer advocacy. When your customer advocates bring in new people to your business, your customer acquisition costs will be reduced. 

2.Increased demands for your products or services

With your customer advocates pushing for your business, there will be increased demand for your products or services. This in turn increases your business revenue.

3.Having a sustainable Marketing Model

Customer advocacy is more sustainable as a marketing strategy compared to other strategies such as influencer marketing. Influencer marketing guarantees effectiveness for a specified period of time, but, customer advocacy can be effective years down the line. 

People who push for your business having had an experience with you before advocacy will be more committed to pushing your business. Influencers are like outsiders and your customers are insiders. 

Besides, studies show that most potential customers trust brand advocates over paid influencers. 

How to do it

1.Figure out what you want to achieve

In business, you need a plan for every decision you make. Deciding to incorporate customer advocacy in your marketing needs a plan showing what you want to achieve with it. 

Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, increasing sales, or increasing your market presence. Figure out whatever goal you want to achieve. This way you know what you are working towards and what needs to be done to meet these goals. 

A better way of doing this is setting number specific goals. For example, setting an X number of sales increase in 3 months. Importantly, align these goals with your overall business goals. 

2.Prepare a base/foundation for an effective customer advocacy

Your customer advocacy marketing strategy cannot be successful without 2 important elements; a great product or service and a great customer service

Without these two, no matter how much advocacy you have, you will not meet your goals.

Besides, how will customers push your business if your products or service are not great and don’t have a great customer experience with you? Your chances are very slim unless you pay them to push your business and this beats the purpose of customer advocacy. 

Importantly, make sure you are targeting the right market that will find your products or services helpful. 

Make sure that customers who engage with your business at any point experience a personalized service. 

3.Choose your advocates from your lot 

Your customer advocates are customers from your current customers who are simply your brand ambassadors. They are volunteer marketers who market your business and their main goal as customer advocates is to help you grow your customer base.

They can do this by directly promoting your products or services to people they know or in other platforms such as social media. 

Not every customer fits as a customer advocate. Therefore, it’s important to know how to choose your customer advocates. 

To succeed in customer advocacy, choose customers who;

  • Have a good following to reach a good number of potential customers.
  • Are consistent with your business. You need customers who can consistentently push for your brand. This consistentency will builds trust among their followers/audience and this drives results. 
  • Are authoritative. You need customers who can actually be listened to and can inspire new people to buy your products or pay for your services. 

A good way to choose the best is to monitor your customer’s activitied on social media. Also, as you interact with your customers, you can actually tell customers who can inspire people in their circles to buy your products or services. 

4.Engage with customer advocates

As a business owner, turning customers into your brand advocates takes some work and time. You have to find ways to convince them to promote your business to potential customers in all ways possible. 

  • Encourage them to write great reviews about your products and services.
  • They can also write and talk about their personal experiences with your business.
  • Encourage them to create their own content on your behalf and share them on their platforms.
  • Give them early discounts and offers.
  • Create branded content that they can share on their platforms.
  • Educate them about your company values and what you stand for so they can represent you in the best way. 

5.Track their progress and reward them

Tracking your advocates’ progress is important as it shows you whether you are meeting the set goals or not. In short, whether your customer advocacy strategy is working or not. 

You can track their performance by;

1.Giving each customer a different tagged links with promo codes. This way you can easily tell how many sales each customer advocate brings.

With tagged links, you can actually measure click through rates and conversion rates. You can also calculate how many customers each advocate brings. 

2.Calculate your Customer Acquisition Costs

Customer advocacy should help reduce your customers acquisition costs. Therefore, if these costs are still up, there is a possibility that your strategy is not working as planned. 

Your customer advocacy strategy is meant to improve customer experience, minimize customers churn, provide more value, and improve conversion rates. 

Rewarding your customer advocates for value they bring is important. 

You don’t need to pay them to sing how your products or services are the best as this beats the organic purpose of customer advocacy. However, find ways to reward them for their value in your business. 

  • Give them branded merchandise like bags, caps, towels, hoodies, cups, etc. 
  • Hold events that are exclusively for your customer advocates. 
  • Have a special prize for the most performing advocate.
  • Feature them in your website and your social media pages. 
  • Involve them in testing out new products or give them a sneak peek of new things you are working on.

Final Thoughts. . .

Your loyal customers are the most impactful marketing tool you have in your business. 

With loyal customers promoting your great products or services, you can greatly boost your results as a business. 

Actively engage with them and give them a great experience. 

When you give your customers great products or services meeting their needs and giving them a great customer experience, they will gladly advocate for your business.